Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Family Branches and Lines

The West DNA Family Project was started in an attempt to help us connect the branches of the family and to attempt to move each branch further back in time.  I recently discovered that we can do the same within each branch.  I was asked to present a program about DNA at the SAR meeting in Christian County, KY.  Christian County is where my SAR Patriot Thomas West moved from Chatham Co., NC before 1809.  This Thomas West is the son of Thomas West, Sr. born before 1718 and died in Chatham County in 1808.  My father was born in Christian County, KY in 1918.    Many of Thomas West, Junior’s descendants still live in the same area he moved just over 200 years ago.
At this SAR meeting, Tommy Henderson introduced me as the speaker, but first he introduced my cousins that were members of the chapter.  Counting Tommy, there were a total of 5 cousins present with 5 more members that were not able to attend.  I have 10 cousins that are members of that SAR chapter.  Tommy pointed out that they were either fourth thru sixth cousins depending on the line we were connected.  Five cousins were descendants of Thomas West, Jr.

My point is that except from Tommy and two others, I did not know anything about the other seven.  I could develop the same project that I have developed for our DNA Family Group #5 for the descendants of Thomas West, Sr.  who have lines in Christian County, KY, Logan County, KY and Hendricks County, IN.  These three locations would account for about 5 or 6 of the 14 children of Thomas West, Sr.  We could attempt to merge the connections between branches of the family with the lines within each branch.  The computer and the Internet can make this a reasonable project that can be of help to all that are members of our West DNA Group #5.

With the FTDNA West Surname Project, we have learned that we (FG #5) are less that 10% of the West that have tested to date.  This means that 90% of people named West are not related to us.  On the other hand of that 10% that is related, we actually only know of a very small number of our living cousins.  How many are lost in their quest to find their ancestors?  How many might live within one hundred miles of where we live OR just down the road from us?  How many of these unknown cousins might be able to bridge our branches?
I keep finding people named West and wonder are they related?  Are they from my branch or one of the other branches in our FG #5?  Ever since, I was a kid, I knew of a few lines of Dad’s family living in Evansville, but none were descended from Thomas West.  The few cousins in Evansville descended from my grandmother’s side of the family.  About one year ago, I learned that the man that owned West Tax Service (William West) not far from my house is a cousin that was born in Christian County, KY.  A young man became a member of the Evansville chapter of SAR about one year ago – Bart Burke.  We soon learned that he descends from Thomas West, Jr.

Tommy Henderson has compiled many of the descendants of Thomas West, Jr. in a very well documented book of 1,000 pages.  I know that Ben West and several others have compiled info on the descendants of Richard West and that the Ignatius West family has compiled many of that line.  This is three of the 14 children of Thomas West, Jr.  We have a great start for some of Thomas West, Sr’s branch of the FG #5.  We should be able to do the same for the other branches of our West DNA Family Project – FG #5.

Written by John G. West

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